It's once again great to be a Toys 'R' Us kid. The toy giant unrolled a modest reopening of its first new store Wednesday morning, just in time for the holidays. In a joint venture concerning two franchises, Toys 'R' Us will re-open in malls in Paramus, New Jersey, and Houston, Texas.
The brick and mortar opening took place in the Garden State Plaza, the largest shopping mall in New Jersey, with the mascot Geoffrey the Giraffe presiding over the ribbon-cutting ceremonies. Marc Kalan, a marketing professor at Rutgers Business School, described the strategy to NJ Advance Media, saying, "They’re creating an experiential-type place. A place where they’re inviting their former customers to come and experience toys, which is something that you can’t do with traditional outlets or online."
After filing for bankruptcy in 2017 and shutting its doors in 2018, Toys 'R' Us sold off most of its inventory to Tru Kids Brands, with the promise of a retooled model and retail philosophy. Tru Kids partnered with the software company, b8ta, to reimagine the store's concept, along with a web-partnership with Target and the newly re-launched ToysRUs.com.
The second store will be in Houston and is scheduled to open its doors on Dec. 1st, with an unspecified amount of other stores set to open across the country.